A number of laws took effect earlier this month meant to improve Texas’s child welfare system.
As KUT reports, the state’s foster care system was deemed unconstitutional and “broken” by a U.S. District Judge in Dec. 2015, following several reports about Texas kids dying from neglect and abuse while in foster care.
That led to a series of bills aimed at overhauling the system, including Senate Bill 11, which establishes a model that increasingly privatizes the foster care system.
A director with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services told KUT that the goal of the new model is to bring resources closer to the communities they serve, moving it from a statewide model to a community-based one.
One reason for the change is to allow children who are removed from their homes to stay in the same communities they reside in – rather than sending them to other parts of the state – so that they have access to positive support systems, like their schools, siblings and friends.